Diabetes: Not Just An Adult Affliction

Diabetes can affect children as well as adults. Diabetes has been characterized as an illness that affects mostly adults and those who are overweight, but a child can also suffer from the illness. Having a family history can be a strong indicator of possible problems with diabetes. Most children tend to suffer from type I diabetes while adults and those who are overweight suffer mostly from type II. Diabetes can be managed and allow an individual to lead an otherwise normal life if they are careful about diet, insulin levels, and exercising with proper physician supervision.
Children may have diabetes, which can be hard to accept. Diabetes is thought of as an illness that affects primarily older people or those who are overweight, but this image is not correct. Children are as susceptible to having diabetes as any adult, but there are special circumstances that should be considered when a child is diagnosed as having diabetes. Diabetes can be harder on a child's body and can create problems as they develop in addition to any other comorbid health problems that might occur from having diabetes.

First, what is diabetes? There are two types of diabetes, simply known as type I and type II. The full given name for the disorder is diabetes mellitus I or II. Diabetes refers to having abnormally high levels of sugar in the blood. This high blood level is in relation to having either too little insulin in the blood or the body resisting the insulin inside it. The pancreas is the organ that creates insulin for the body and sometimes there is an issue with the pancreas itself that causes the problem. As for the two types of diabetes, type I can originate in childhood and be a lifelong affliction managed by diets and insulin shots. Type I diabetes usually occurs when the body makes little or no insulin. Type II diabetes, by far more common in the general population, occurs later in life and occurs when the pancreas quits functioning properly. Older people and those who are overweight are at an increased risk of suffering from type II. They may have to take shots also to control their blood sugar levels but sometimes carefully watching diet or taking pills will work. As our population continues to increase in weight problems and sees a rise in the number of people living longer, coupled with those who fail to exercise regularly and properly, diabetes will become a more common condition.

Diabetes is not a death sentence. In fact, it is quite manageable and can be lived with for years. One of the biggest requirements is watching a careful diet, going to the doctor regularly, and following any medication plans that have been set out by a physician. There are risk factors that can increase one's likelihood of being afflicted with diabetes during their lifetime. These include having an unhealthy weight, not eating a proper diet, having a close blood relative with diabetes, having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or belonging to a certain age group or ethnic group. Some of these factors, such as weight, can be controlled but other factors, like age, cannot be. Having a regular checkup once a year and knowing the signs of diabetes are two ways to combat the illness, or at least catch it in an early point where it can be controlled more easily.

Symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, fatigue, unexplained weight loss despite having an increased food intake, increased thirst, and flu like symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. Those who are suffering from type I might have severe symptoms that occur suddenly while those who are suffering from type II may have a gradual onset of symptoms and not even know they are sick. Vision problems and skin issues can be characteristic of type II diabetes.

Children should have special care because diabetes can affect their developing bodies and do irreversible damage than can affect them later in life, including reducing their life quality. They might have additional symptoms such as bedwetting or a weird odor to their breath that smells like fruit. It is important to note that most children will develop type I diabetes, which is not preventable and most likely inheritable. If there is a family history of diabetes, and a child starts to display symptoms of diabetes, taking the child to a medical care professional without delay will be important in helping their diabetes. They will have to learn basics about nutrition and how to manage the illness but should be able to live an otherwise normal lifestyle.
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